Police investigating employee at president’s residence for possible wrongdoing
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Police investigating employee at president’s residence for possible wrongdoing

National anti-fraud unit says Rivlin not connected to probe; worker reportedly used position to advance business interests

Illustrative: The offices of Israel Police's Lahav 433 Unit in Lod. (Israel Police)
Illustrative: The offices of Israel Police's Lahav 433 Unit in Lod. (Israel Police)

An employee of President Reuven Rivlin’s official residence is the subject of a preliminary investigation into suspected financial offenses, police said on Friday.

The employee was summoned for questioning twice in the last 24 hours by the Lahav 433 national fraud unit, a police statement said. He was released to a five-day house arrest on Friday afternoon.

According to reports in Hebrew-language media, the employee is suspected of using his position at the President’s Residence to advance the interests of an Israeli company that operates abroad, in exchange for money.

Police said the Tax Authority was involved in the ongoing investigation into the suspected “integrity offenses.”

President Rivlin is not a suspect or connected to the investigation, the statement said.

The employee has denied any illegal activity, and according to reports, told investigators that he has properly reported all his income to tax authorities.

The Haaretz daily said the employee is one of the president’s longtime workers.

On Friday the President’s Residence said it did not have details on the suspicions against the employee, but said it would cooperate fully with the investigation.

“We received a notice from the police regarding the summoning of one our employees for questioning. Apart from this information, we do not know what it going on and we will of course assist police with whatever they need to bring a swift conclusion to this inquiry.”

The employee’s attorney, Sassy Gez, told media outlets Friday that his client was innocent.

“My client’s actions were completely legal, which is why the police released him. My client has devoted his entire life to public service and will continue to do so,” Gez said.

The probe took place as President Rivlin returned from a five-day visit to South Korea, where he met with senior officials and toured the demilitarized zone along the North Korean border.

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